Report: The Trump Administration Is Systematically Dismantling National Parks
The Trump administration is dismantling the National Park Service (NPS) in an unprecedented way, according to Yahoo News.
Professional management of the U.S.’s national parks has typically been respected under both Democratic and Republican administrations. While Democrats often sought to expand the system and Republicans focused on building facilities in the parks for expanding visitation, the NPS was largely left alone to do their jobs.
Brothers Jonathan and Destry Jarvis, who have spent a combined 87 years in the conservations of parks and public lands, believe that the change was initiated when Donald Trump complained that the NPS was reporting smaller crowds on the National Mall than Obama had drawn.
Soon after, the interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, attempted to double the entrance fees to national parks, rescinded climate policies, and moved experienced senior national park superintendents around to force their retirements.
David Bernhardt, Zinke’s successor, then reorganized the department’s political leadership in order to install unconfirmed, anti-public land sycophants that shared his agenda. What followed were privatization of campgrounds, dozens of rollbacks on environmental laws, and the suppression of climate science.
Jonathan and Destry Jarvis likened this situation of systematic dismantling to pulling blocks from a Jenga tower and asked why someone would want to do this to the popular National Park Service:
“Because if you want to drill, mine, and exploit the public estate for the benefit of the industry, the last thing you want is a popular and respected agency’s voice raising alarms on behalf of conservation and historic preservation,” they wrote.
“Because if you want the public to ignore the science of climate change, the last thing you want are trusted park rangers speaking the truth to park visitors.”